Dejal decade in review: 2000 to 2009

Dejal has been around since 1991, but has gone through a number of changes over the years. In the first decade, from 1991 to 2001, I wrote applications and system extensions (FKEYs etc) for Mac OS 9 and earlier. These are still available on the Classic Products pages.

In 2001 my wife and I moved from New Zealand to the US, and of course my business moved with us.

In 2002 I formally set up the company as "Dejal Systems, LLC", and started writing applications for the then-new Mac OS X operating system. The first such app was Narrator, a fun app to read stories in multiple voices. Later in 2002, the first version of Simon was released: my server and website monitoring tool. (News from 2002.)

In 2003 I started a Mac OS X version of QuickEncrypt, an encryption tool that had been fairly popular under Mac OS 9, though as it turned out it got sidelined by other projects, mainly due to lack of customer interest. I also released the first version of Time Out, a useful (and free) break reminder tool, and BlogAssist, a HTML markup tool... which was also free initially. And finally, I introduced Caboodle, my handy snippet keeper app, also as freeware initially. A busy year for new apps! (News from 2003.)

In 2004 a third-party product that I was working on as a contract programmer was released: MindFortress. The client saw Caboodle and wanted something similar with their spin on it. It was a popular inspiration: the makers of iData wanted help with rewriting their product, so I did that as a contractor, too. I also decided to give away the old Classic products this year, and introduced yet another new app, Macfilink, an affiliate link cloaking tool, written as a joint venture with an Australian friend. My various existing apps were also updated. (News from 2004.)

In 2005 I rolled out a major website redesign, including adding a RSS feed for news. Several apps were updated, including Time Out to version 1.3.2, Caboodle to 1.0b3 (still not in general release!), and most notably a major upgrade of Simon to version 2.0 then 2.1. (News from 2005.)

In 2006 I started sponsoring the great Joy of Tech web comic, which has been renewed each year since. Various apps were updated, most notably a major upgrade of BlogAssist to version 2.0, where it became a paid product, and Caboodle finally reached a 1.0 general release. I also introduced the Dejal Blog and Dejal Forums, and redesigned the Dejal logo to its current form. (News from 2006.)

In 2007 I made a number of website improvements, including an improved design and nicer Dejal Store pages. I also started tweeting (@dejal), posted lots of blog posts, and of course did a number of app updates.

In 2008 I rewrote Narrator from scratch to use the latest technologies, and released as version 2.0, along with the usual batch of app updates and blog posts. I also branched out into iPhone app development with my first app for that platform, SmileDial, a handy and fun app to text or call people by touching their face: touch their eyes to have them read a text message, or touch their mouth to speak to them.

In 2009 I continued the blog posts and app updates, as usual. I also introduced two new apps: a free Mac app called FinderFront to bring all Finder windows to the front when you click the desktop, and an iPhone app called Valentines to celebrate Valentine's Day with heart-shaped photos and messages. I also added iPhone optimization to the website. Plus I spent a few months working on a secret new iPhone app, which I've hinted at on Twitter as [DEJALDACTED].

So what's in store for 2010 and the next decade? Firstly, the aforementioned new iPhone app. That'll be an exciting release. After that, I'll work on version 2.6 of Simon, and Time Out version 2, which was designed and started quite a while ago, but has been pushed back... but no more. After that, I have big plans for updates to my other apps.

Other than the [DEJALDACTED] iPhone app release, I see 2010 as returning my focus to my Mac apps. 2011 and beyond... who knows. Maybe I'll work on apps for Apple's rumored tablet, or more iPhone apps, or new Mac apps... or more likely a combination of all those (and updates to the existing apps, of course). The focus will depend in large part on feedback from customers like you.

Regardless, it'll certainly be fun to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Dejal in 2011!